I love taking photos of gardens. I love the way sunlight and rain can affect the landscape, how the breeze makes flowers dance, and how, in a second, I can capture and hold onto life in all its glory.
This summer, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.
In June, I visited the magnificent Portland Rose Garden with my dear friend and talented photographer and designer Ariane Colenbrander. A light but continuous drizzle was falling (it was Portland, after all), and the roses were all drenched. I used my Nikon D5100 with an 85mm macro lens to capture an unforgettable array of blooms and colours. Take a look at the slide show below and enjoy.
I have many heroes – my mother, who raised three girls alone in the early 60s, my niece, who copes every day with chronic illness, so many friends who have bourne great loss over the past few years.
But this woman – Tara Miller – is an inspiration for me because she shares my passion for photography, and has made a living doing what she loves in spite of being legally blind like me. I hope I get to meet her someday. Her work is nothing short of awesome. Way to go, Tara. Keep kicking butt. I love your vision.
Lives can change forever in an instant. This family’s life has, and it will be tough.
On Sunday September 4th while cycling alone near Blue Mountain in Collingwood Ontario, Tracy Dort-Kyne crashed her bike on Scenic Caves Road and suffered a life-changing Complete C3/C4 spinal cord injury. She had been training for The Centurion road race. Tracy was flown by air-ambulance to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto and remains in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit. Tracy is a single mom of 3 young boys and may be in the hospital for several months.
Though I’ve never met Tracy, I know and love her sister Lesley Dort, and there is no one stronger and more resilient. I have no doubt that this fighting spirit is a family trait, and everyone is holding everyone else together. But there are mountains to scale and sad, scared kids to comfort.
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Thank you! And this Thanksgiving, hold your loved ones close and be thankful for what you have. Because it can be taken away at any time.
Since photography has become so important to me, I thought I’d use Fridays to feature a particular shot and give it a bit of context. I couldn’t think of a better place to begin than with the photo I chose for the first theme shot.
This was taken at Vancouver’s Sun-Yat-Sen Gardens on a beautiful and sunny late afternoon in May – one of a few hundred I took that day in this idyllic venue. As a visually impaired photographer, I shoot with a concept in mind, but I don’t know exactly what the final outcome will be. I was thrilled with this photo on so many levels.
More than anything else, it conveys better than anything else how I see – items close up are fairly ‘clear’ (at least to me!) and grow blurrier and less distinct as they get farther away. At all times, though, I’m very conscious of colour and light. The fact that the opening in the rock looks rather eye-like wasn’t lost on me either. And heck, I just love the entire effect.
So, enjoy. I hope it gives you a sense of what I’m capable of – indeed, what we are all capable of, whatever our real and perceived limitations.
Happy Friday, and for all you Canadians out there, Happy Thanksgiving weekend.
Like so many of us, I’m still processing the fact that Steve Jobs is gone. The news hit me hard yesterday, much more than I imagined it would. I was in tears more than once in those early minutes when the tweets came cascading in, when I tried to keep up with the deluge of comments, bulletins and tributes. It was impossible to do.
I never had an Apple computer till early this year. Then two events happened that have transformed my life. First, I was lucky enough to win an iPad from Advantage Lighting – an amazing and uplifting experience when Dave’s health was declining rapidly. I can’t tell you how much I love its portability, ease of use and large screen!
Then, shortly after Dave died. I suffered a dramatic drop in my sight (later corrected with laser treatments), and literally could not read anything off my laptop. So I took the plunge with a 21 inch iMac from Simply Computing, and fell in love. It’s difficult to put into words how wonderful it was to be able to move a screen right up to my face and manipulate everything with Apple’s accessibility features – amazing! And my favourite thing of all – a $20 black rubber cover for my keyboard that transforms the pale silver keys into high-contrast white on black print. Best. Thing. Ever. Here’s what it looks like:
Thank you, Steve Jobs, for making this one gal’s life easier and more productive. I may have come to Apple later in life, but the impact on me has been huge. I will always wish I had been able to thank you personally. And give you a hug.
Here is my favourite tribute to Steve Jobs – his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005. Rest in Peace, Mr. Jobs. Apple has lost its core.